Top 20 Maritime Outdoor Escapes-2018

Just about now you may be thinking of where to go for your summer vacation. If an east coast holiday is in your future, I have put together my second annual list of favourite places I visited. I hope you enjoy them. (see here for  Top 20 Maritime Outdoor Escapes 2017  edition).

20. Bouctouche, New Brunswick.

Just 30 minutes south of Kouchibouquac National Park and and 45 minutes north of Moncton.  If you are doing the Acadia Coast Drive make sure to check out Bouctouche.  Here the Irving Eco-Center boasts great bird-watching and wildlife.  Meander along the boardwalk perched above the sand dunes and watch great blue herons wade in the shallows. Bring a lawn chair and towel – the beach is great too.


View from the tower. Irving Eco Center, Bouctouche New Brunswick

19. Port Hastings, Nova Scotia, 

Should be your first stop on Cape Breton Island. Not only was the Canso Causeway an engineering wonder of its day, the view to Porcupine Mountain is amazing. Watch the boats pass through the canal between the Strait of Canso and the Northumberland Strait. You can walk out on the rocky point of land and take a photo at marker zero of the Ceilidh Coastal Trail. With a little luck you may see whales, seals, eagles and gulls congregate to feast on what the churning waters serve up.  Please see Cape Breton- Rediscovered Part 1 and  Cape Breton- Part 2-A Tourist at Home for further reading on the area.


18. Saint John, New Brunswick.

What’s not to love about Saint John? It’s geologically fascinating, historically important, has a trendy nightlife, lots for food lovers to take in and one of the hottest cruise ship ports around. Make sure to check out the City Market, Reversing Falls, Rockwood and Irving nature parks.  for further reading:

On The Trail of Loyalists,

In Honour of Canada’s 150th  

Summer Of The Beach

It All Started With Love

My Quest for the Forbidden in Saint John

The Art of Saint John

Saint John: The Rest of the Story

Irving Nature Park- Saint John, NB

Saint John from light house pier

17. Miramichi, New Brunswick

Miramichi makes it to my list for the second year in a row. I can’t get enough of the beautiful scenery.  Kouchibouquac National Park is 20 minutes south for camping and exploring. Hike in the French Fort Cove, catch a boat tour on the Miramichi River from Ritchie Wharf.  Learn about the hardships and courage of the Acadian people during the expulsion at Wilson’s Point and Beaubears Island national historic sites. Some of the best salmon fishing there is. Also a stop on the Via Rail train heading both westward and east towards Moncton and Halifax. Further reading. The Miramichi River Route, as I would do it.


16. Heartland, New Brunswick 

I came here for two things; the world’s longest covered bridge and The Covered Bridge Potato chip factory. Enjoy both while you are visiting. Please read Bridges To Cross, 2017 New Brunswick


Hartland Covered Bridge worlds Longest
Hartland Covered Bridge The world’s longest covered bridge

15. St Peters, Cape Breton, NS.

An epic bucket list “must do” for sailors is to traverse the locks of the canal – within minutes you are transported from the Atlantic Ocean to Bras d’Or Lake.  The area was home to the Mi’kmaq people for thousands of years before the first European settlers came in the late 1580’s.  There is usually a ceilidh or festival going on somewhere. Nearby Point Michaud beach is excellent.  Further posts Cape Breton- Part 3. Mowat and St Peters.

St Peters Canal, National Historic Site

14. Sackville, New Brunswick

This is bird-watching paradise. Land that was drained for farming by the early Acadian settlers has been reclaimed and is now  home to a waterfowl park.  The surrounding trail conjoins with the trans-Canada trail, so if you choose to you can walk or cycle all the way to Cape Jourmaine. Two national historic sites, several provincial historic sites, home to Mount Alison University and its fantastic library. There are dozens of artisans and craftspeople, it is a cultural playground. For further reading; Searching around Sackville, New Brunswick Part 1

Searching Around Sackville Part 2

Sackville, New Brunswick
Sackville, New Brunswick waterfowl park and so much more

13. Tignish, Nova Scotia

I came here to see Tignish Dock Provincial Park. Henry Ketchum had an ambitious idea to create a rail line and lifting bridge across the Chignecto isthmus from Fort Lawrence on the Bay of Fundy, to Tignish on the Northumberland shore. The ill-fated historic Chignecto Marine Transport Railway ran out of money before it was completed and was scrapped and dismantled to pay creditors. The provincial park pays tribute to its legacy.  It has a picnic area, toilets, a red sand beach and a suspension bridge. I loved it.

Tignish Dock Prov Park


12. Fredericton, New Brunswick

Fredericton, the capital of New Brunswick, is located on the banks of the Saint John River. What it lacks in size it makes up for in amenities. Theater, museums, cafes, pubs, parks, walking and cycling trails. A four-season vacation area. Please see further reading in my post My Fredericton, New Brunswick.

Blackeyed susans Odell Park
Black-eyed Susans in the botanical gardens of Odell Park

11. Springhill, Nova Scotia

If you have heard of Nova Scotia’s favourite daughter, Anne Murray, then you will want to go through her museum. It has a large collection of memorabilia including photos, accolades and videos from her career.  She usually visits town during Old Home Week in August each year. Make sure to go through the Springhill coal mine. You will feel what it was like to go underground in horrible working conditions and understand the fear many endured while being buried alive for days when the mine collapsed in the town’s famous mining disaster in 1958.  A poignant exhibit that left me shaken, yet so happy I went.




10 Cape Jourmain National Wildlife Area, New Brunswick

Great hiking along the coastline to the lighthouse. I really enjoyed the views to the Confederation Bridge across to Prince Edward Island.  Lots of bird-watching and an excellent interpretive center.

Confederation Bridge from Cape Tormentine
Confederation Bridge from Cape Tormentine June 30th, 2017

9. Stanhope National Park, PEI

This is the land of of sand dunes, lighthouses and beaches. Go for a dip in the ocean, or kayak along the shore. Photograph birds nesting and endless sunsets. Take a drive along the gulf coast parkway to Dalvay-by-the sea. Only 25 minutes to Charlottetown.

Sunset stanhope beach PEI Nationa Park
Stanhope Beach inside PEI national park

8. Welsford, New Brunswick,

What a hidden gem. Make sure to see to see Welsford Falls and hike Bald Mountain. If you are more daring, rock climbers from all over come here to climb. For further reading; Welsford, New Brunswick. The Best of




7. Victoria, PEI

A small, charming seaside community, old restored homes have been transformed into artists’ shops, chocolatiers, restaurants and museums. Be sure to see Prince Edward Island’s largest tree and if you sure-footed and not afraid of heights, climb the ladder to the top of the local lighthouse.

Victoria  PEI


6. Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

Canada’s story started here and Charlottetown does our country proud.  Beautifully maintained heritage buildings,  seaside views and helpful residents to make you feel at home.  Dine al fresco on a patio on Victoria Row before taking in a production at the art center or just people-watch. A  very walk-able town.







5. Cape George, Nova Scotia.

Called the “little Cabot Trail” for a reason,  the road hugs the bends of the coastline and climbs, affording magnificent views of the Northumberland  coast.  Hike to the lighthouse. I brought a lunch and enjoyed the views even in early March.

Cape George Lighthouse Antigonish County Nova Scotia
Cape George Lighthouse

4. Hampton, New Brunswick

This was one of my favourite places last year.  It had everything – scenery, a beautifully laid-out town filled with sculptures and historic buildings. The artisan quilt barn tour was fun to follow. Lots of hiking trails and famous for bird-watching.  I highly recommend Hampton.

Light House Park Hampton NB
Light House Park Hampton NB


3. Fundy National Park New Brunswick

If they views aren’t enough to bring you here, how about the world’s highest tides, two covered bridges and miles of hiking trails. For a long hike go to Third Vault Falls or for a shorter one try Dickson Falls. There is a golf course, a hotel, cabins and plenty of like-minded folks enjoying nature.

Fundy National Park
Fundy National Park

2. Sussex, New Brunswick

I really enjoyed myself in Sussex.  Between searching for murals and covered bridges, I also found two of my favourite places to hike.  For further reading please read;

Walton Glen Gorge…….ous.

Sussex New Brunswick- Don’t Just Pass Through

Sussex Bluff. The Hike Part 3

Belises covered bridge
Belise covered bridge

1. Fundy Trail Parkway

What can I say about this place? Home to the famous Fundy Footpath – 41 kilometers of wilderness trail along the Fundy coast. Listed as one of the 50 best hikes in the world. The scenery is breathtaking.  There are shorter hikes to waterfalls, rock formations and a sea-captain’s grave.  for more information please read The Fundy Trail Parkway, Is Not The Fundy National Park.

Flower Pot trail
Flower Pot from Observation deck 1

There you have it, this year’s Top 20. Please join me again as I strike out on new adventures. Until next time, happy travels from Maritime Mac.



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45 thoughts on “Top 20 Maritime Outdoor Escapes-2018

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    1. I know it is a big world to enjoy. I am such a travel nut and with flights so expensive and limited vacation days. I have allowed myself to enjoy weekend getaways. within NS, NB, and PEI. I live where others want to see travel. I might as well enjoy what is on my door step.cheers Anabel

      Liked by 1 person

  1. What a beautiful compilation Kelly! Sackville used to host the Radio Canada International transmitters, until budget cuts and the internet killed it. Booo. Your photos are so lovely!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have seen photos of the abandoned buildings that housed the transmitter equipment, and the towers laying on the ground. Bummer. I’m a Ham radio operator, and have loved listening to the international shortwave bands for years Kelly. But one by one, the old stations seem to be going off the air for good. Thanks, Internet but wait! Satellite technology is much more likely to fail than terrestrial broadcasting. Bad choice from this perspective.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. I will have to go search around for this radio tower. I am headed to Cape Breton, tomorrow maybe will pop by and ask about.
      I use to know lots of people that liked ham radio. So many things in this modern world is gone by the way side. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a part of Canada I’ve really wanted to visit. It all looks beautiful. I have some friends who are from St. John, although I met them when I taught English in Oman, and they are still there. Someday, I hope to visit the places on your list. Since I can’t find an “About” page (am I missing it somewhere?) why is your blog called MaritimeMac? Nice to meet you, Kelly. 🙂


    1. It is called Maritimemac. I am a story teller and travel lover. If there is something technical, in the like “about”. I don’t know how to do it. I know I have an avatar with a few things about me.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. That’s quite the list, Kelly, and I am pleased to say that I have been to many of them. I have a photo of Peggy and I standing on the upper railing of the PEI lighthouse in Victoria. The local mayor saw us admiring it, went back to his house, got his key and gave us a tour! You don’t get much friendlier, personal service than that. Afterwards he walked us down to a local restaurant on the pier and insisted we buy a lobster roll. It was to die for! –Curt


    1. I am so happy, to bring back good memories for you. I ate at the pier restaurant too, it was excellent, well done on the lighthouse, that was typical P.E.I friendly people/mayor. . I went up it too but the couple behind be refused the climb, too risky.
      I really enjoyed Victoria.


    2. It was a bit of an adventure getting up there, Kelly. Not a problem for Peggy and me, but I could see where it might be a challenge for some. We enjoyed Victoria, too. It was off-season. I would have liked to have been there when more shops were open. –Curt


    1. Well I’ve just spent six months down near prospect nova scotia pet sitting and haven’t been able to leave the dog for more than 4 hours at a time so going to do a NS road trip for the next 2 weeks then heading to new brunswick and PEI. I’m very excited its beautiful out here, your blog has been really useful! 😊


    2. Oh I am happy you are going to get out and explore. It is a great place. I live in near Oromocto, on the way to Fredericton. If you are going to be in the area, give me a shout.


    3. That is excellent, I am sure you will enjoy yourself. Cape split, Peggy’s cover light house and Digby are also lovely. I just haven’t done a post on them yet.


    1. It is fantastic, I was so impressed, the trails go on for ever. Boardwalks throughout, over streams, a slice of geological uplifting visible , three waterfalls, it is worth seeing. Thanks for reading my blog Stefan, I’ll be sure to return the favor . Cheers

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Just finishing a two week trip to NS and included Cape George and St Peters which we would not have done without seeing them mentioned on your blog, both were well worth the detour. Yesterday we went to the coast on the Mabou coal mine road, a great place to visit if you have not been.


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